A photograph of Charles Banks Wilson's pencil drawing depicting an eighteenth century Quapaw Indian holding two feathered pipes (calumets) and wearing body paint and a headdress. The drawing was based on research and model Ed Quapaw, reportedly a 3/4 blood Quapaw with a mixture of Peoria and Shawnee. The collection also includes two photocopies of drawings showing the bust of the oldest pureblood Omaha (94 years old), his 76-year-old son, and the last chief of the Winnebagos linked by heredity to the post.
Charles Banks Wilson (1918-2013) was a painter, printmaker, historian, and illustrator. Born in Springdale, Arkansas, his family eventually moved to Miami, Oklahoma, where he grew up. In 1985, the Smithsonian Institution exhibited a series of his paintings entitled "Search for the Purebloods," which consisted of 70 portraits of full-blooded members of American Indian tribes. This series included a portrait of the Wilson's Quapaw mother-in-law. To prepare for this project, Wilson analyzed accounts by the explorer Henri de Tonti and conducted research at the University of Arkansas, the Smithsonian, and the Gilcrease Museum.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 87-13
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photocopy of a newspaper article on the drawing, which was donated along with the collection, has been relocated to the National Anthropological Archives Reference Files.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Pierson Gallery in Tulsa, OK, hold prints and paintings by Wilson.